Dr Owl takes a break

The oak tree stood tall, the tree house sprawled across its wide, sturdy branches. Inside sat a large owl, a shelf of medicines behind him. It was early in the morning, yet he yawned.

“I’m off to bed for a nap,” Dr Owl called out to his wife. “I have been tending to patients till midnight and have been up writing summaries of my patient’s conditions. It will soon be time for my clinic to open this afternoon. I must rest.”

“Yes, dear,” his wife said. “You work too hard. We owls are nocturnal creatures and sleep during the day. But you don’t even get to rest during the day. Your profession doesn’t allow you to do so.”

Dr Owl sighed. “Yes, but what would the creatures of D’Land do without a doctor? I am the only physician who can help them in their ailments. Dr Trish deals with the dinosaurs. There is Dr Lobo, the lobster who is a dentist but he lives very far on the Southern Beach and can only treat tooth ailments. Dr Madderick is the rabbit who is an eye doctor while Dr Solomon, the salamander, is a mind doctor. I am the only one who is a general physician and am accessible day and night to the creatures here.”

“Yes, but who takes care of your health?” demanded Mrs. Owl. “If you fall sick then all these creatures will have no one to depend on.”

As the owl closed his large protruding eyes to fall asleep, his wife’s words rang in his head. “It’s true,” he mused. “I get weary so quickly these days. Maybe I need advice from someone wiser than me.

Unable to sleep restfully, Dr Owl flew off to his old friend, Wiz Rooster. The rooster was in his office at the Aviary School for Birds. It was the end of the working day yet birds were lined up outside his office to speak to the veteran principal.

“Hello, Dr Owl,” Wiz Rooster said in surprise. “Please, do come in. To what do I owe this pleasure and that too in the middle of the day? I thought this was your siesta time.”

The owl glanced at the birds standing in Wiz’s office. The rooster immediately requested them to leave, “I will speak to you all tomorrow, my dears.” At these words the crowd dispersed at once.

“You look tired my nocturnal friend,” remarked Wiz Rooster thoughtfully.

Dr Owl smiled tiredly. “I don’t know how to say this but I am fatigued!” The owl made this statement with a strange finality.

Wiz Rooster’s smile faded. “What’s wrong? Are you ill?”

“Not physically,” smiled the owl. “But my heart is careworn. The illnesses of my patients and their problems plague me.

Wiz Rooster nodded knowingly, “Having a position of responsibility takes its toll. With responsibility comes respect but also a burden which not many people can understand.”

“I don’t know why I have come here,” Dr Owl continued. “Maybe I want advice from someone who is in a position similar to mine. I know you are also a guide and mentor to many.”

“I am honoured that you consider me worthy of offering any sort of advice,” Wiz Rooster said bowing his head reverently. “I do think you need a break. Maybe a few days away, off to a mountain retreat might make your heart and mind lighter.”

“And what about my patients? An average of 30 creatures comes to my clinic every single day,” Dr Owl protested. Who will take care of them?“

“What about referring them to Dr Trish, the dinosaur doctor?” suggested Wiz Rooster calmly.

“Trish already has double the number of patients than me,” the owl shook his head.

“Dr Owl, if you fall sick you will be unable to treat patients for a week. It is logical to take a three-day break and return fresh and hearty,” Wiz Rooster said firmly. “If you are ready to pay heed to my advice, this is the best I can do.” The owl nodded.

“I know a wonderful waterfall at the base of the Northern Mountains. You and your wife should go. I know you are an avid star-gazer and the clear mountain skies will offer you a breath-taking view of the stars,” encouraged the rooster.

So that afternoon, Dr Owl flew to Dr Trish who agreed to accommodate his patients for three days.

“Next month you might have to return the favour and deal with my patients,” commented the solemn-faced triceratops. “I need a break too, you know.”

“Anytime,” agreed the owl gratefully.

“We are going to the mountains,” Dr Owl announced to his delighted wife and before long a board outside his tree-house clinic announced: ‘Clinic Closed for 3 days. Please refer to Dr Trish at Fruit Park in case of emergency’.

By early evening, Mr. and Mrs. Owl set off towards the Northern Mountains. The sun was beginning to set as they found the waterfall which Wiz Rooster had recommended.

“Oh my,” Mrs. Owl said as she stretched out on a rock. “The sunset has never been this spectacular.”

The sky was a canvas which bore splashes of yellows, oranges and blues. Soon, stars began winking in the ink-blue sky. Dr Owl watched in wonder as he nibbled on some nuts. “Look, the constellation Orion can be seen in the southern sky,” commented Dr Owl.

The stillness of the night was broken by the sounds of whimpering. “Did you hear that?” asked Dr Owl suddenly alert. He walked towards a rock and saw a large wolf sprawled behind it. The creature’s leg was oozing blood. The wolf growled defensively when he saw the owl peering at him.

“Are you hurt? I am a doctor. Maybe I can help,” said Dr Owl in his soothing voice.

“My leg…the muscle is torn. I slipped while leaping down the mountains,” winced the wolf.

The owl examined the foot. “Let me wash your wound and apply some herbs.” The water at the base of the fall was chilly but the wound was cleaned soon. Dr Owl applied some yarrow flowers which were growing at the base of the fall to the exposed flesh. Deftly, he tied a large leaf around the wolf’s injured foot and secured it with a sturdy blade of grass.

“It might hurt tonight but it will soon heal,” Dr Owl reassured the wolf. “I advise you to sleep and not use your foot for a day or two.” The wolf nodded. Muttering to himself, he soon fell asleep.

Dr Owl ventured back to his wife at the bank of the waterfall. “Who was it?” asked his wife in exasperation.

“My destiny,” smiled Dr Owl and the two went back to gazing at the splendor of the night sky.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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